A/N: Alright, here we go. First Robin Hood fic, made from a plot bunny that wouldn't stop kicking me in the face. Vasey is not nearly as fabulous as he should be in this chapter, and Guy talks a lot for a dude who got stabbed, but if you bear with me, the next chapters will be better. Promise.
"I am ready for your punishment."
Sheriff Vasey turned sharply at Marian's defiance. Oh, how he longed to strike her for that. He almost did, and then he recalled just what he had walked in on a minute before. Guy was, as expected, mere inches away from Marian, having shed the nearly ruined armor that almost cost his useless life, looking like a lost, wet dog- and smelling like one, too. It was pathetic, if you asked him. But Marian was returning the lost puppy look to the man, and that's when he had it. She wanted a punishment, she would get it. "Very well!"
Before either Guy or Marian could fully register what he had said, Vasey closed the distance between himself and Guy, pulled a dagger from his belt and thrusted it hard into Guy's chest.
Guy barely managed a surprised shout before the pain completely silenced him and sent him falling to his knees.
Vasey growled and yanked the dagger out of his chest.
Marian's mind finally caught up with her body. "GUY!" She ran over to him, kneeling down quickly, gaping at the wound the man had caused. Her heart broke a bit when Guy reached for her right as she got within an inch of him and he sagged against her side. The man himself hated his moment of weakness in the unexpected turn of events. She cupped the side of his neck to keep him there, turning to glare at Vasey. "You bastard!" She hissed.
Vasey sneered. "I would watch that tongue of yours, my dear Marian. You're lucky I'm in such a giving mood today, or I'd have it cut out. Today, your punishment quite fits the crime," he threatened, then looked at Guy, who was gasping for air now. He took hold of the younger man's hair and yanked it back so Guy was forced to look him in the eye. "Today was a bit of an eye-opener, I'm afraid. You've always been unimportant- replaceable- and most importantly, weak- especially where this leper is concerned." His eyes flicked to Marian, and he stroked Guy's hair this time, to which the main tried to pull away to no avail. "Even I didn't expect our Maid Marian here to barter for your life after all you've done to her." His fist tightened in the man's hair. "How does that make you feel, hm? She leads you on and on, lies to you time and time again, and then saves you from drowning. That's quite the mixed message, don't you think, my boy?" He asked, curling into Guy's shoulder and putting his chin on top of it with the last part.
Guy still managed to scoff, if only for a moment since pain rippled through him and he doubled over. "Clearly I would have been okay taking my chances with her over you," he forced out. He needed to say it- by the feel of it, he may not be granted another chance to do so.
Vasey roughly shoved Guy's head so he was looking down again. He turned to address the guards that had shown up. "If these two lovebirds aren't out of the city gates in five minutes, shoot them. If Gisborne is still alive by the time you catch them if they don't make it- shoot Lady Marian first. Make our boy suffer," he ordered before getting onto his horse and riding off.
Marian watched him, then scowled at the guards around them.
Guy inhaled sharply and got a better hold on her thigh. He was weak- now physically as well as mentally, and literally leaning on his anchor, who he felt he really should hate by now was just making everything worse. But then again, he could never be able to hate her. He tried to gather himself and looked up at Marian. "Marian… Marian go. Leave me. I'm not worth your life," he forced out. He rocked slightly on his knees, then tried not to wallow in self-hate when he took hold of her thigh in attempt to steady himself. The train of self-loathing in his head continued on.
Marian eyed the guards again, then slipped one arm under Guy's, muttering, "I'm sorry…" as she did so.
"For what- AGH!" Guy flinched as she yanked him upright in one fell swoop, dragging him towards a horse whose rider had dismounted and pushed him up. "Go on…"
"Why… why're you…?"
"Because I'm not fond of letting people die, whether they deserve it or not. Just get on," Marian insisted.
Guy gathered his senses as best he could and got on the horse, with Marian behind him.
"Lean on me…"
"Marian…" It was barely a whisper this time.
"Stop talking. You'll make it worse," she insisted, then made the horse start off at a trot, heading out of the city gates. She was still convinced that Vasey would give his men the order to shoot them as they left, but it didn't come. Even when the gates were out of sight, no one followed them. After a while, she slowed the horse to a walk and dismounted. Guy gave another weak hiss, and to Marian's own surprise, she was slightly relieved to hear it. "Let me see the wound."
"I'm dying. What's there to see?" Guy gritted out.
Marian scowled and reached up, unclasping one of the leather straps and pushing the sides away to see what damage the dagger had caused. "It could be worse. We need a physician-"
"Which are quite limited in the situation you just put us in." Guy snapped, then hesitated. "Why didn't you leave me and save yourself?" And don't tell me you wouldn't consider it if you weren't next to me when it happened, he thought bitterly.
"I already told you, and if you managed to say all that with a dagger wound, I'm positive you're not dying. Do you know of any physician not loyal to the Sheriff in these parts?" She could tell that it wasn't just the pain that delayed his nod 'no.' "You're lying to me."
"And you haven't lied to me on numerous occasions?" Guy challenged, only to have a stab of pain rattle his entire body to the point he had to lean over, which made it progressively worse.
"Guy…" She took his hand, and he couldn't help but look at their joined hands before looking at her. "Let me help you…" She insisted. "Who do you know who can help us?"
"He won't…" He looked away when Marian frowned at him. "You'll just be increasing the chances…"
"Guy!" Marian snapped.
Guy flinched. "… He's about two miles west of Locksley… if you follow the path then go right at the fence," he finished, then stopped to inhale sharply.
Marian reached for his shoulder, then frowned when he tried to jerk away. "I'm trying to help you, Guy. I got you into this mess, I might as well try to get you out."
"I told you to leave me… why do you never list-" He was cut off as he hissed in pain again.
Marian sighed. "Good. Now stop arguing and keep quiet before you harm yourself more."
This time Guy didn't argue, and the pair started the journey in silence.
A few hours later, Marian tried to take in the sights of the house that they had come to based on Guy's instructions. It was small, but there was a decent amount of property fenced in around it, with no other houses to be seen. She looked up at Guy, who nodded weakly, confirming it was where they needed to be. Marian looked around for an opening in the fence, and once she did, led the way through and towards the house. She stopped the horse a good distance away from the house and looked up at Guy. "Do you think you can walk?"
Guy hesitated, then managed to dismount the horse with quite a bit of difficulty. He held onto the saddle for leverage, then looked at the ground. "I'll wait here."
She nodded and approached the door. She knocked, then turned back towards Guy and the horse, not at all trusting Fate to not let him fall or anything to that effect without her there.
When the door opened and a man no older than her father stepped out of the house, she curtsied and smiled weakly. "Please, sir, my friend… he was hurt, and he needs help…"
The man frowned at her, then looked her up and down before arching an eyebrow. He looked at Guy before heaving a sigh. He retrieved a walking stick from the doorway and walked towards Guy. He motioned at her to follow him as he did so. He spotted the shape of the wound. "Inflicted by a dagger …" He mused out loud, then looked at Marian with a dark look. "I'm not fond of outsiders bringing trouble to my door, and by the looks of it, that's what you're doing. I'll only ask once- please leave," he turned back towards his home.
Marian caught his arm. "Oh, please, sir! He might as well have asked for you by name."
The man looked down at her hand, and when she blushed and lowered it, he sighed and looked back at him. "He doesn't look like anyone I know- or would care to know, for that matter."
"Then how could he have directed us here?" Marian challenged. "Please. I'm worried- he… he may be dying." She hesitated. "And if he does, it's my fault." She added quietly, more out of shame then trying to bait him.
The man frowned at her once again before walking back to where he had been while facing Guy. "I'm still not fond of trusting strangers in the dark, then. Show me his face," he insisted.
Marian frowned at him.
The man crossed his arms over his chest. "I've been conned before, Lass. Excuse me if I do not trust as easily as others would, whether I know him or not," he raised an eyebrow at Guy. "Come on, Son. Let's have a look at your face first."
Guy tucked his head further towards his chest.
"I can let you bleed to death, if you prefer," the man countered.
Guy visibly tensed, then looked up slowly, shaking his bangs away from his face. He made eye contact with the man for around half a second before looking back down.
It was enough for the stranger. He backed up and put his hands up dismissively. "No. I will not give aid to him. You can find yourself a different physician- and the pair of you can get off my land now," he snapped.
"I will not treat Guy of Gisborne, no matter how close he is to meeting Death. Do you think living on the outskirts of this city I have not heard of his treachery? Of his crimes? Oh, no! I have learned once never to trust this man and let him into my home. I will not make the same mistake twice," he jabbed his finger in Guy's direction.
Guy lifted his head for the first time during the exchange. "Uncle, please-" Guy began.
Now that surprised Marian. Her eyebrows shot up and she looked at the old man, waiting for his reply. Guy had never mentioned any family. Who was this man?
Before Marian could even consider the term further, the man let out another roar of "NO!" before backhanding Guy across the face.
While Marian thought she had enough surprises for the entire day, counting the slap, another one was added to the list when Guy made no retaliation against the man. He sat there and bore it, straightening slightly to support his body against the wound and hung his head further.
"No…" The man repeated, calmer this time. Marian noticed tears in his eyes as he did so. The man looked like he was deeply considering his words as he continued. "You lost the right to that title- you lost the privilege of my care many years ago. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can still have it here and now- bleeding to death or not. Maybe it would be good for you- feeling the amount of physical pain you mentally caused me- and physically caused how many other people, Gisborne? Hundreds? Thousands?"
Guy set his jaw and bowed his head even more.
The man turned to Marian. "Milady, you seem to be of a kind heart. If you have any sense of keeping that alive, you should stop calling this man friend and get as far away from him as possible."
Marian opened her mouth and firmly shut it, not at all knowing what to say or do, given the situation.
The man shook his head. "You wish to understand my rudeness- my contempt for this man- I mentioned being conned- I give you the first man who did it- and he was just a boy at the time," he stopped and shook his head, trying to gather his emotions. "You're welcome to stay here outside until sunrise so you can move on safely, but that is as much of a welcome as I offer."
"We'll take it," Marian nodded.
The man gave one final look at her before heading back inside.
"… … Told you." Guy muttered after a few moments of silence.
"Sounds like it's your winning personality that got us into this mess-"
"That you started," Guy pointed out.
"What did you do to him, anyway?"
"That's none of your concern." Guy shot back.
"If we're in this mess together, then it just might be."
"I didn't ask-"
Before Guy could continue, she put her hand over his mouth. "What did I say before? Quiet. I told you I wasn't fond of letting people die. I'm staying whether you like it or not. Now here…" She put her hands on his shoulders and pushed down, trying and eventually succeeding in trying to get him to sit against one of the wooden posts. She undid a few more clasps on his jacket, despite his weakening protests, and tore off part of her sleeve, pressing it to his wound. "Keep that on there. We'll figure this out."
Guy only grunted in reply this time.
It had been a few minutes, and Marian had just noticed Guy had lost consciousness-from sleep or pain, she did not know. She was about to go pound on the door and get the stranger's attention when she spotted him opening the door in order to go see them.
"You're Marian, aren't you? Edward's daughter?" Roland asked, stepping out to join her. He looked down at the porch.
Marian tried to look as defiant as possible. "I am. What of it?"
The stranger shook his head. "Oh, no, Milady. I mean no offense. Your father and I are old friends is all. I thought you looked familiar, and now look at you, all grown up. Last I saw you, you were only this high," He motioned just above his elbow. After a moment, he sighed. "You know, your father saved my life once. He's a good man- the best I know, really."
"He is…" Marian nodded, trying to study the man's features, and then they all clicked. An old man who had come by time and time again when she was younger, always wearing a kind smile and said kind things to match. "Roland…!" She remembered after a moment.
The slight smile that was growing on Roland's face turned genuine, and it reached his eyes as he nodded. He looked from the ground, to her, to Guy and back a couple of times, then heaved a deeper sigh. "Come. If I can't repay the favor I owe your father, I might as well repay it through you. Help me bring him in. I'll see what I can do."